A Gulf Coast Juneteenth

Even though you generally don't get to take off work, Texas state holidays just seem cooler than their federal counterparts. Who needs the Fourth of July when you've got San Jacinto Day? The same holds true for Juneteenth, which commemorates the day — June 19, 1865 — when a U.S. Army general announced the end of slavery in Texas, only two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. (They didn't have Twitter back then, kids.) Ever since, it's been one of the brightest red-letter days on African-American Texans' calendars, and for two decades an excellent occasion to gather at Miller Outdoor Theatre to enjoy the Gulf Coast's rich musical bounty. This year, the Houston Institute for Culture seems to have made dancing mandatory by bringing in New Orleans second-line dynamo Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue (Shorty was leading his own band by age six) and "Zydeco Boss" Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band. Like June in Houston wasn't already hot enough, but at least the opening set by Diunna Greenleaf, I.J. Gosey and Earl Gilliam should stir up a cool breeze of vintage Bayou City blues.


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